I've come to the realization that I did it all wrong.
I had to have.
I lived my life wrong.
I thought I was doing the right thing.
I worked hard, sometimes 3 jobs at a time.
Stayed in my job positions for long periods.
Kept my nose to the grindstone.
Didn't make extravagant purchases.
And yet here I am. Months from not having a home
Dollars from being considered low income (but not close enough to get any help).
Single income home
I did it wrong
I should have remarried and been marginalized
Is that CEO really smarter, better?
How did I fall short?
I should have gone to school and been generalized
Racked up huge debt and been capitalized.
Would I then be worthy?
Is it all luck?
It makes you question your worth
Do I want too much?
Is comfort a luxury?
Not having to worry too much to ask?
Life is a struggle, but ALL struggle?
How do I find gratitude in lack?
I've heard there is no such thing
Does the starving child not suffer from lack?
The world moves on to build it's wealth
Literally on the backs of the have nots
I am prostrated by priniciple?
no, it's been by fear.
Did I soothe my fear with lies
Lies that I don't want the debt
Lies about doing the right thing
My inner wisdom knows
Those physical belongings are not about worth
My traumatized self just wants comfort
In a small home
That isn't a struggle to afford
Damn the worth.
Give me peace
Letting go is required
Just a room
cling to peace
My dreams are tears
Well, this isn't going to be one of my spin out rants, ha!
I've been attempting to watch videos in an awesome summit called Productivity for Perfectionists.
I've not managed to watch too many all the way through (because I didn't make it priority like I could have).
However, I did watch the interview with David Bedrick (twice in fact). The following are just my notes that on that so I can find them later.
Unshaming the Truth
My take on that is that our truth is often that we are stuck in say, feeling angry. And we feel shame for feeling like we shouldn't be stuck there, that we should just get over it. We shouldn't just get over it! We are feeling that way for a reason! That feeling still feels true to something inside of us.
So it is important to meet that anger. Get to know it. Where is it in your body? How does it feel? (is it spikey, sticky, heavy etc)
This made me think of various ideas I've seen about making that feeling seen, "Attend and befriend", hugging that inner child, sitting with that inner critic. ALL things we don't to do because those feelings are usually yuck and we would rather cut them out, not tickly their cute little bellies. Which David point out is resistance, another valid feeling. That we feel hampered by, but it can be an authentic and appropriate nervous system response. It's a protection. And can be approached in the same way, by sitting with it. Now, my previous vision of sitting with it was feeling it, which, eeeyew! But David's approach is to get to know it, how it feels, where in your body, does it change, etc.
Procrastination is another stuck feeling. Treating it as a symptom to get rid of doesn't work. (developing new habits may work, but it's not likely because it's like trying to amputate a part of you, it's going to fight it).
Instead, again, get to know it. Look at what you are doing instead of doing thing you are procrastinating. How does it feel when you do that? What are you getting from that? Does your energy feel lighter doing that thing?
*Don't get stuck on the "why" you are feeling what you are feeling.
Dialogue with your feeling, talk back. Don't let it just convince you, argue. (in the case of the critic)
Or, maybe sometime what it needs is just a hug.
This puts me in mind of the idea of drawing or making dolls of our inner voices. I really like the idea of making a doll of your inner child that you can hug when it needs it. I've been trying to figure out a good way of making that into a workshop, but it seems quite involved....maybe we could draw them, then print them on fabric to make a simple stuffed doll.
This is certainly commonly addressed, but I did like his approach, it makes some more things fall in place for me.
I made a mistake
I am in a tailspin
It was compounded
When someone else must explain
Makes me feel like a kid
With my hand in the cookie jar
They refuse to understand
How can I forgive myself
What else am I doing wrong
It feels like drowning in a pit
My heart hurts
That child shrivels under scrutiny
Put your arms around that child
And whisper – “you are enough”
You are perfect.
One mistake does not change that
In the huge universe, where your light shines
This small shadow can barely be seen.
YOU aren’t invisible
I had read a post by Andrea Schroeder with Creative Dream Incubator this morning while I was struggling.
She was talking about struggling with resistance. Hers was about a project.
But I think it might apply to many struggles.
It means it is time to slow down and honor how we are feeling (as Andrea points out). For as many rounds as that takes. OH and does it take some rounds…
I had hoped writing ^^^ that poem(?) would get it all out. Nah, my thoughts still kept going round- worrying at it. Holding those imaginary arguments in my head. I was pretty frustrated by that. But I realize my highly developed need to fight for myself has taught me some not so helpful habits. And I can forgive myself for that too.
Back to allowing. Back to loving myself, regardless. Just….love.
(and love for those people, who don’t know any better than I did...do?.....did. I’ll get there on that…..but probably not today….)
I've really been struggling lately. Interactions with people have just left me feeling so irritated. It just kept piling up. I knew I was feeling cranky and needed an attitude adjustment. But how?
I was delving into it. I know I can't change other people, only my response. But it somehow felt like by not reacting I was just shriveling up and shrinking back into a hole that says I don't matter.
I suddenly realized, that shriveled up, holed up me needed to be offered love.
If other people aren't doing it (and oh boy are they NOT), I can offer it to myself.
I know, we are told to love ourselves, all the time. I've even posted about it. Somehow, it feels very different to say "give love to yourself". Like, instead of just default to "love yourself" (which we don't....it's closer to abuse really, what we do to ourselves), it feels like it's an act in a moment. Or maybe it's because loving yourself feels like you should have always felt that way or always do. And offering love to yourself acknowledges that there is a hurt inner you that needs something from the mindful self. Hell, it's probably as simple as that actually acknowledging that hurt inner you. The wounded self.
Took me awhile to get there.
Me: How long do we have to do this?!
Me: Always. Lean into it.
While reading an article on doubt today, I realized, I've somehow let the unhappy me become more real that the happy me. I'm not alone in this habit of remembering the failures and not the successes, it's become a standard in society.
It made my mind go back to all the crappy things I've believed about myself for so long....from my childhood, that I was uncomfortable socially from a few missteps, and unseen by parents in the times I needed understanding. Which completely dismisses that on the whole, growing up I was pretty blessed.
My marriage ended in divorce, a failure. At least that is what society has labeled it. And I judge myself for that relationship, not just how it ended, but getting into it in the first place and staying in it. Instead of looking at the positives from that time.
What feels worse is that when you go to therapy, they dig to find what's "wrong" with you. I was shocked when I first went to therapy for depression and was told I had a dysfunctional family growing up. Wow, I thought we were pretty normal. Of course I understand some of that dynamic now, but it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth for what I thought was a fairly happy childhood.
It makes me have to ask myself, would it be better to be blissfully unaware? Does it help to know the issues with my father, husband and trauma inducing incidents? It's supposed to help me alleviate my own blame, but it just changes it to judging myself in a different way. I feel like we aren't really shown how to heal.
You know the super crazy thing about it all? I've known who I was all along. It was when I was held up to the yardstick of society, albeit the community, friends, family, or a therapist, that I seemed to fall short.
I finished! I did miss 3 days, but I feel pretty good about keeping up.
I received my 2nd COVID-19 vaccination yesterday and felt great until about 2 hours ago. Now I'm hitting a wall and the floor, lol. So I'm pulling out some recycled stuff.
Each Red Thread Circle has an inquiry, one I held when I first starting was around "Perfectionism".
I definitely suffer from this malady and I've noticed SO many painters in my workshops being SO hard on themselves, I really wanted to share some gentle thinking with them.
Why, dear one, would you expect yourself to perfectly do something that you’ve never done?
Can you allow yourself to just experience the act, and not anticipate the outcome?
Before you belittle what you bring to the table, ask yourself if you would tell a child the same.
When you notice what your neighbor has done, as you applaud it, can you give that also to yourself?
Denying yourself that reward does nothing to move you forward, indeed it can make you stuck.
And assuming you will fail in advance, only makes you experience the failure twice!
Why not expect great things?!? And Celebrate twice!
Even if you consider it a failure, your attempt was magnificent in its honoring of you by trying!
What if….. you let all those thoughts, just fall away.
And enjoyed the moment?
And in that moment you saw all that you are….all the possibility.
As you let go of all that is considered wrong or not wanted, be in awe of all that amazing potential.
Can you see that you are not the action, but the potential?
You are not the words, but the intention.
You don’t have to be different, do more.
You just have to be.
Take a deep breathe, let it all go.
I like to use an art exercise to support the inquiry. For this one I chose alcohol inks because you CAN'T control the outcome, you have to just let the magic happen. Then we used stamps to own the design.
Be gentle with yourselves!
For me, the Red Thread is a symbol of the connection we all have to each other deep down in the energy that is our soul. Red threads have a symbolic energy meaning and recur throughout our physical world: blood vessels, DNA, fibers in our food and clothing; from fractals & nanotechnology to images of far galaxies.
The Red Thread is used in circle as a reminder to tend that inner connection and thereby our neighbors.
The Red Thread circle creates a space, or container, for compassion and allowing, for self and one another. In that space you can feel a sense of belonging, witnessed and supported, as well as offering that to others. You carry that Red Thread from the circle as a reminder that you have that support and as your piece to live every day with compassion.
If we could cultivate this type of interaction with others and model it for our children, maybe we wouldn’t be seeing some of the violent and hopeless happenings going on with our youth or the negative climate splattered all over the news.
Creativity is a way of expressing yourself as individual and can be beneficial in helping create space for compassion by becoming present and being mindful. My goal is to develop a program based around Red Thread Circles and using art activities to reinforce those compassionate connections first to self and then to others. I am currently holding monthly Circles at my artist cooperative and looking at branching out to offer them in the work place, social groups etc. It’s great support for those in especially stressful fields.
(my training for Red Thread Guide is through Shiloh Sophia at Musea.org)
A couple of summers ago I spent the summer training to be a Red Thread Circle Guide.
The creates a container of safety, allowing and compassion. Those who enter in to the circle know and agree to these terms and offer them to their fellow circle members.
As a founding member of the artist cooperative in my little town, I get frustrated when the "business" overtakes the creativity. So when I had the chance to hold a circle for my fellow members, I felt called to right this poem for them. I feel it deeply in my heart as my belief is that creativity is the expression of your very soul, your essence delivered and transformed into the physical.
For all the beloved creatives out there, don't forget.
My Creative Beloveds
You, dear one, were born a creative soul
Your soul craves that expression.
It’s an expression of joy and beauty
Your truth. Of where you are
And where you are from
It began as a baby creating sounds of joy
A coo and gurgle, meaningless but full of feeling.
As the child grew, expression came through sheer joyous movements.
A dance of abandon
Then one day a pencil found its way into your hand
It became a tool for that expression.
Sometimes joyous, sometimes painful
But always beautiful.
You put your hands in clay and pushed your soul into it
It’s there, in that pot.
As you pushed pigment across a canvas
Your dream came to life for others
Your spark lives in your mark.
Be fearless in your sharing of it
This is your world
You belong here
Be fierce in your belonging
A couple of years ago I was commissioned to some artwork. She told me the colors in the room and then gave me free reign. I'd seen an image of an old door with stone stairs leading down. So I began creating my world on canvas. Interestingly, in the midst of it's creation, I read a newsletter from Nikol Rogers. It was about tending the moss. I've always been struck by this synchronicity and I felt like it lead me to some answers of why I was drawn to the deep mossy areas of the steps. I was inspired to write about it while I was working.
The door is not what you think.
We are told all our lives that when one door closes, another opens.
Is it an obstacle or a possibility? that door
Must we search for the key? is the key what is needed?
Or is what is needed, the key?
That way may lay wondrous mysteries; our brain likes to think about those prospects, in bright shiny glowing images with a trill of music, always looking forward.
And yet my feet hesitate….my hand falls to my side
I am drawn to the depths…
Down there is the cool.
Is it ominous? That dark?
Or is it simply peace.
The mosses have consumed.
They come to disturbed sites, stabilize, and make space for new growth.
Quietly, slowly, firmly. Not active, yet steady. It beckons
Possibly my soul is seeking to not seek.
I had a busy weekend, cleaning up my yard to hopefully seed some grass and cleaning out my back cabinet that has just been accumulating more and more things since I moved into this house (6 years ago?). They are offering Spring Clean-up in my town this Thursday, you put your stuff out on the curb and they pick it up. It's nice, I missed it last year; loaded up a bunch of stuff to put out, then looked around wondering why no one else had stuff out.....found the flyer and I was a day late. This year, while I should have done more than just the cabinet, I'm 3 days early!
Holding space for that healing...♥
snapped this with my phone a few years ago. Zoomed in, cropped a bit and added sunspots with a filter, turned out pretty cool!